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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Proposed ASUCD senate bill to restructure Student-Police Relations Committee

A proposal for an ASUCD senate bill is currently underway, pending legislation, to restructure the Student-Police Relations Committee. Senate Bill 112 would add two other at-large members alongside the current chairperson.

The Student-Police Relations Committee was created in 2005 to address police issues on campus and to foster relationships between the UC Davis community and the UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD) as well as the Davis Police Department. The committee serves as a forum for various groups and organizations on campus to discuss student-police relations.

Current chairperson and sophomore managerial economics major Daniel Connor stressed the importance of communication.

“The committee’s goal is to connect students and police more fluidly, taking ideas and opinions from each and sharing them in order to get a more unified campus, as well as a more informed campus,” Connor said. “The relations are very distant and students are very reluctant to put their faith in the police force after what they have seen and heard, so it is my job to help give the students a direct voice to influence how the police carry out their interactions with students.”

By adding two new members, ASUCD members hope to increase the amount of communication between students and police officers.

“It is crucial more students have the opportunity to get involved with such an important committee,” said Sergio Cano, senior applied mathematics major, Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) chair and author of the bill. “This allows more ex-officio members to be involved with student-police relations, such as the chairperson of Gender and Sexuality Commission (GASC) and the chairperson of Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC), which generally bring up valid concerns at the ASUCD senate meetings in regards to police issues on campus.”

Current ex-officio members include those from the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC); the Collegiate Panhellenic Association; the Interfraternity Council; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center (LGBTRC); among others.

“The bill [would] give me two other committee members in order to accomplish more in the department of communication with the other organizations on my committee,” Connor said. “There are nearly 20 organizations that are a part of the committee, and it is difficult for one person to manage the communication from all of them.”

In addition, the bill proposes that the committee be required to hold meetings at least twice a month.

“This [would] allow students to have more opportunities to bring up concerns, questions and suggestions to the UCDPD and Davis Police Department,” said Kabir Kapur, sophomore political science and philosophy double major, ASUCD senator and co-author of the bill.

Students are encouraged to attend the meetings and bring forth concerns or ideas for the committee to address.

Currently, the Student-Police Relations Committee operates on a $200 budget, which the committee uses to put on programs and projects that educate students regarding their rights, police procedures and safety practices.

“The overarching goal is to better the UC Davis campus by having a spectrum of opinions from different areas of campus bringing issues to the meetings,” Cano said.

STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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